Grant County warns of fire along Columbia River

BEVERLY – The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Level 1 evacuation warning (the lowest level) for the communities of Beverly, Wanapum Village and Shawanna in the southwest portion of the county.

A wildfire is burning across the river in Kittitas County, Sheriff Tom Jones said. Winds are high.

The warning came at midnight Saturday.

State Highway 243 was closed Friday night between state Highway 26, just south of Interstate 90 at Vantage, and Mattawa because of poor visibility, but reopened Saturday morning.

Grant County firefighters spent Friday night staged and ready to extinguish a fire on an abandoned railroad trestle that crosses the river and connects Grant and Kittitas counties.

The Saddle Mountain fire burned to the Kittitas shoreline and ignited the trestle. Winds kept the trestle fire from burning across the river, but officials were worried a shift in the wind might cause the blaze to cross into Grant County.

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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge

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